Part of an exceptional customer experience is to make the payment process as easy and convenient as possible. The faster customers can get their transaction completed in a secure and accurate way, the more likely they are to return for future purchases and recommend you to others. Easier also means greater convenience, variety, and security with every transaction.
Here are some strategies for addressing all those expectations about eCommerce payments to keep your customers coming back for more and continuing to expand your following:
Not every customer wants to pay the same way, yet the majority of eCommerce sites don’t provide many options for payment acceptance. While some customers are happy to pay with a debit or credit card, others are looking to use an eCheck or eCash payment form and still others may actually want to use cryptocurrency, a gift card, or an online payment company. Take the time to understand or even survey your customer base to learn about their preferred payment methods, and then determine if there is enough of a demand for other payment options you can add.
Integrated Payment Process
Customers can easily become stressed when they go to pay for their product or service only to find that they are redirected away from their shopping cart and your website to an external payment gateway. Often the first thought of concern is whether they will get back to their order page when it is completed, or will there be some type of timeout notice. Even worse is the customers' worry over a potential security breach during this type of transaction.
Select a payment gateway that will integrate within your eCommerce site or mobile app so that customers see they are still within your site. While it may still connect on the backend to a payment gateway off your website, the page the customer sees does not change and offers a seamless experience. They will feel confident about completing their transaction with you.
Customers don’t want to feel forced to have to create an account on your eCommerce site, and they may leave when they realize they have to fill in all that information you are strong-arming them for in order to complete their transaction. Everything is about options, so if you let them choose between having an account or not, they may even be more likely to get an account.
However, if they really don’t want to get another username and password, or they are truly afraid you will bombard them with emails, you don’t stand in the way of them finishing their purchase. Your customer will be able to complete the payment process faster, if they’re given a choice.
It helps when you remember your customers when they do return -- so provide them with the option to store their information so that when they are ready to buy again, they won’t have to re-enter every box on the payment page. Instead, allow your system to auto-fill for them so they can save those precious minutes for something else they need to do. Consider including the ability to work with digital wallets as many consumers like this convenient feature.
Keep It Simple
Don’t ask for too much information just because you want to build a profile for marketing. This problem has been tested again and again. Understand that trying to wrestle information from a reluctant client takes away from the ease of payment use. In other words, be sure to leave out any line of information gathering that is not necessary for completing the transaction. Most likely, their name, email, and address are enough to leverage as a future marketing opportunity. If you want to ask for a phone number as well, still give them a choice, and make sure you tell the customer why, such as that it is for security purposes.
Keeping it simple also means minimizing the number of pages they will have to contend with to complete the transaction. Having to continually click through to other pages just complicates the situation. Try to keep all information to one page where they can take care of the entire process.
Explain Security Measures
Although you don’t need to go into great detail about your security features, do provide an overview of the measures you are taking to protect their privacy and payment information.
This is likely to alleviate any concerns and keep your customers on the page ready to complete the transaction. You can also add a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate and PCI compliance badge to your payment page to reassure them.
Don’t Leave Them Hanging
Clear communication is integral to an easy eCommerce payment process. Once payment is done, be sure to give customers confirmation of that fact so that they are not guessing about what happens next. You can provide a message like “Thank you for your purchase! Your confirmation number is -----.” It helps to also give them messages early on like “Add to basket” and “Proceed to checkout.” Customers appreciate this type of direction and will be less likely to desert their shopping cart.
Review and Revise
Lastly, never assume you have perfected the easy eCommerce payment process because you can always make it better and add new tools that address customer perceptions about the best transaction process. Continually review your processes and ask for feedback from customers to ensure you are still satisfying them.